On April 7, the Goleta City Council took steps to extend protections for residents and offer alleviation to those hurting from the economic fallout produced by the COVID-19 pandemic. In mid-March, the council approved a freeze on commercial and residential evictions, and voted on Tuesday to stiffen the penalties for those who continue to carry out evictions. Violations will start out at $5,000 for the first offense, $7,500 for the second, and $10,000 for the third.
Goleta also moved to increase the scope of actions that the city can take against those violating city orders relating to the pandemic, such as the closure of all nonessential businesses, allowing the city to prosecute violations as a misdemeanor or issue administrative citations. According to a release from the Goleta City Council, “The standard penalties would apply including $100 per occurrence for the first violation, $200 per occurrence for the second violation, and $500 for each subsequent violation. If a misdemeanor is pursued it would be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment not to exceed six months.”
The council also approved a deferral for hotels on payments of a Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) as a way to offer some relief for the local hotel industry.
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